September Picks

Every month, as part of my rebranding, I’ve decided to share tidbits and suggestions on what’s new and out there in terms of music, style, movies, and news.  I’ll write about what I’ve been up to and what I’ve discovered, along with trends in my world and the world around me.  I hope to spread insight to tips!

What I’ve been listening to:

Since I haven’t been at college for long, and I’m still not super comfortable with my surroundings, I’ve gathered some older goodies that make me think of home and my journey in a good comforting way.

 

Things to watch:

  •  House of Z- A Vogue DocumentaryScreen Shot 2017-09-17 at 7.39.22 PM
    • As a part of a fashion week special, Vogue came out with documentary portraying the rise, fall and rebound of the young star designer Zac Posen, designer of his own atelier and top creative director at Brooks Brother’s Women.  I came across the documentary randomly, and decided to look into it. It was very well done and interesting to watch.  Highly recommend.
  • Outlander Season 3
    • The popular Starz original has returned with an anticipated 3rd season that can be watched either on Starz or Xfinity.  Based on a series of novels, the show follows a young nurse named Claire as she finds herself time traveling away from a post-WW2 England into a 18th century Scotland.  Season 2 ended with a major cliff-hanger which promises an intense return of the series.

 

College Game Day season!

  • As a college freshman, I have been stocking up on cute apparel to showcase my school spirit.  Baseball caps and beads are great go-tos while rugby shirts are making their way into must-have lists.
  • I also love my Spirit Shoes from Jack Rogers.  They have their own special collection where their iconic sandal is made in school colors making them perfect for sporting events, or when you feel the need to display school pride.  You can have them custom made, or if your like me, you can get the boater style Jacks which are waterproof, lighter and cheaper than the originals.

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    Game Day Essentials!

 

Fashion Week Franticness

  • Guess what?  It’s September, meaning that the fashion capitals of the world are being/ will be swarmed with celebrities, models, designers, and reporters; all trying to get a glimpse of what will be in style this coming year.  Being mid-way through, many trends have emerged that seem to be worthy of attention such as sequins on dresses, skirts and shirts, velvet everything, oversized blazers, and statement faux fur pieces.  I’ve compiled links to these trends below.

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Can be found at https://www.jcrew.com/p/womens_category/outerwear/puffersandvests/fauxfur-vest/H0514.  This vest is perfect for fall.

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White after labour day?  YES, why not.  I’m a stickler for tradition and rules, but when it comes to the color white,  I am all for wearing it year round.  It’s totally acceptable if you love white like me, and no one will judge you anymore.  Vogue has even denounced the old rule.  Anyways, white shoes are huge this year.  The ones here are Rebecca Minkoff loafers, and can be found on ShopBop.  Click here:  https://www.shopbop.com/edie-loafers-rebecca-minkoff/vp/v=1/1500861073.htm?folderID=13872&fm=other-shopbysize-viewall&os=false&colorId=12397

 

 

I’m obsessed with this velvet shoe trend, and I’m hoping to personally get a pair for winter because they are so cool and classy.  Here are two kinds that can be from at Saks.  The first one is from Joie and can be found here: https://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524447072505 .  The second one is Ash, and can be found here: https://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306624251&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524447128034&R=191154032051&P_name=Ash&N=306624251+1556&bmUID=lW4UFGO

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Sequins are another unique trend that’s definitely out there.  If your daring enough, this is differently the time to go invest in a sequined piece such as this one from Topshop.  http://us.topshop.com/en/tsus/product/petite-sequin-plunge-mini-dress-6758504?bi=0&ps=20&Ntt=sequins

 

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Blazers are big right now.  And what’s even bigger, large oversized printed blazers such as ones with strips or gingham.  Have fun with this classy trend.  This one pictured is from Club Monaco and can be found on sale here: http://www.clubmonaco.com/product/index.jsp?productId=89247636

 

Tip for living the college life

 

  • Did you know that Sephora has a great shipping and awards program?  Well, if you sign up for free, you can not only get points towards free stuff when you need to order mascara last minute, but get 3 free samples of your choice in your order.  I don’t know about you, but I’ll take anything free, and samples are a great way of trying new products and such from the bubble of a college campus.  What is more, Sephora will send you perfume samples to test which are actually really enjoyable to get in the mail.

 

  • I ordered a great sleeping mask from them when I discovered a need for one week two into college (who would have thought that was an essential?).  It helps me fall asleep much better, and is super light and soft.  The silk also prevent my eyes from having marks the next morning too!  Get one here at: https://www.sephora.com/product/silk-sleepmask-P402942?skuId=1771294&icid2=products%20grid:p402942

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Exploring London- Part 2, When/Where to Shop

Hello again!  Yes, I love shopping, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I spent a lot of time while in London exploring the famous department stores and street side boutiques.  I happened to be in London during their bi-annual sales week which occurs towards the end of June.  That being said, pretty much every store had a large selection of clothes 50% off and more.  Department stores, such as Harrods, went all out.  The annual Harrods sale is the only one they have a year, meaning that yes, the place is mobbed, but they dedicate a whole floor to sale items, along with sales up and down the rows of designer collections making it well worth the visit.

This might just sound like heaven in a shopper’s paradise, and it pretty much is.  However, I knew that the sales would draw crowds to prime shopping areas near my hotel in Knightsbridge.  It was true, and I definitely noticed more people on Saturday than Friday, but I took advantage of the limited shoppers on Friday and shopped all over the city.  Below, I have compiled a list of my favorite, along with the best shopping that I experience while I spent time in London this summer in celebration of London Fall Fashion Week starting this weekend.

  • Liberty’s and Regent Street
    • Liberty’s was my personal favorite.  The building itself is charming and perfectly reflects British culture.  Although known for its famous prints,   Liberty has a great collection of mid to high range British designers out of London.  The sale there was particularly good with an entire floor half off.  They also have an array of home goods and decor.
    • Regent Street is very popular for mid to high price range chain stores.  It can get very crowded, however.
  • Bond Street and Burlington Arcade
    • A little window shopping never killed anybody, and this rings true to this glitzy area.  Bond Street is home to flagship stores of both British and international Haute Couture houses.  The well-heeled crowd is fun to watch, and who says you cannot have a look around.  I personally love doing that, in order to find inspirational from my dreams.
    • The Arcade is famous for its jewelry and watch displays, and it is worth a visit to experience the quaint yet grande architecture that fills the narrow strip.  There is also a Ladurée shop at the end which sells divine macaroons that do actually live up to their hype.
  • Fortum and Mason IMG_7704
    • Very close to the high streets of Mayfair, Fortum and Mason is a food haven.  The department store specializes in delicacies, and has an immense display of speciality tea.  I’ll admit it, I’m a tea snob, so their food hall was paradise for me.  I had stopped here to grab lunch at their great café, and ended up spending over an hour such gazing at all the delicious preserves, candies, and groceries that they had.  In addition, I smelled and tested every kind of tea until I had them package a special one for me.  An amazing experience if you are into food shopping.
  • Harrods and Brompton Road
    • Probably the most famous department store in the world, Harrods doesn’t disappoint.  The massive over the top fashion mecca is stocked full with any high end designer and fashion house possible, along with middle market British brands, cosmetics, jewelry, and accessories.  The food halls are a whole other story with each room filled to the brim with different gourmet produces. They actually have a lot of decent take out options that can be eaten on the go (my hotel was right near by, so it was super convenient to grab food here), in addition to sit down places.  On this particular trip, I visited Harrods twice for multiple hours at a time, and I still didn’t feel like I saw close to the whole thing, but the size is amazing to gawk at!  Tip: go early in the morning and not on the weekend, when the tourist haven’t arrived yet.  It might still be crowded,  but the crowd will be either locals or actual interested shoppers, making the experience more authentic.
    • Brompton Road surrounds Harrods, and hosts large flagship stores and British chains.  There’s a huge Zara and Topshop for fast fashion fans, in addition to a flagship Burberry, Ted Baker London, and All Saints.
  • Sloane Street and BelgraviaIMG_7961
    • Another area that is optimal for window shopping; Sloane street is adjacent to Brompton Road and is lined with designer labels.  Harvey Nichols is another department store that calls Sloane Street home, and while I heard it is worth while, I didn’t get the opportunity to explore it on my trip.  Alas, something to look forward to for my next visit.
    • Right near that, there are a handful of side streets in Belgravia that have a lot of local ateliers and boutiques that are super fascinating to go into.  I was amazed by the fact that these tiny unassuming store fronts could produce masterpieces with fabric.

It seems like I cannot get enough of British fashion, and I couldn’t help to love everywhere I shopped in London.  I hope this guide’s helpful for fellow fashionistas!

Exploring London- Part 1: What to see

Hello world!  I write to you from my dorm room in upstate New York relishing this brief period of free time that I currently have.  School has been going well, but more on that later.  Right now, I’m reminiscing on the amazing summer that just “ended” yesterday.  One of the highlights from my last high school summer included a once in a life time trip to London.  My grandparents took my brother and I on a 7 day journey across the Atlantic from New York to Southampton, England on the world-renown ocean linear, the RMS Queen Mary 2.  The voyage was a super relaxing and fun opportunity, but, for me, the anticipation to arrive back in my favorite city made me so excited to get to England.

I had been to London once before when I was younger, and my lasting impression of it was that we did not spend even close to enough time there.  This time around, I had the same feeling of un-satisfaction that I had the first time I visited the city.  I don’t know what it is about London, but it sure is a hard place to leave even with its infamous cool dreary weather.  It might be the lively atmosphere, or the enduring charm of the storybook buildings, or, better yet, the quirky, yet attractive culture of tradition mixed with modern sensitivity.  If you cannot tell, I love London, and, because of that, I will be sharing tips and suggestion from my trip in a three-part series while I desperately try to grasp onto the last glimpses of summer.  It might take a while since I’m still trying to adjust to my new surroundings, but I hope to continue writing while in college.

When I arrived in June after a 2 hour drive through rolling hills of green, the city was a sweating thermos.  Supposedly, the day before we arrived, the temperatures were the highest they had been in 40 years.  Who knew we’d be complaining about the heat in London (of all places)?  Still, we took advantage of the dog days of summer by walking around the bustling streets, and sipping away at delicious elderflower cordials from Harrods (a refreshing must try).

 

 

Walking the London streets has to be one of my favorite feelings.  I probably looked like an idiot while I observed the walls, doors and iron work of the buildings, but, believe me, there was no way to prevent myself.  Even though I was there for only 5 days or so, I made a habit of strolling around in the morning.  I swear by the steps on my Fitbit, and it gave me much satisfaction to see myself easily crushing my 10,000 step goal early in the day.  Between the quaint residential streets, and the majestic parks such as Hyde Park, there are plenty of fabulous places to explore.  I highly recommend taking some time to observe the wonderful London surroundings when visiting the city.

 

 

The museum scene in London is rich with plenty of unique options ranging from culture, history, art, and science.  This time around, I visited the Imperial War Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Both were extremely well done and insightful.  The War Museum has an amazing interactive exhibit on World War 1 that walks you through the details of the war from the start to armistice day.  There are many more exhibits throughout the museum, but I didn’t get the chance to explore due to the sheer amount of time it took to get through one massive exhibit.  The V and A is a classic London museum that plays host to an immense collection of 3D art and design; all preserved in an old beautiful Neoclassical building.  The renaissance tapestries and ancient sculpture galleries are wonders to behold, and I loved the British fashion history exhibit which showcases important work from both english and european designers throughout history.

 

You of course have to go see a show in London!  There are plenty of broadway-esque shows playing in the west end theater district which are fabulous to see, but a lesser known secret is Shakespeare’s Globe on the south bank.  The theater is a complete replica of the original with cheap standing room seats, basic scenery and balconies.  The vibe is super fun, and the theater does a great job showing adaptations that appeal to younger audiences.  I attended a performance of Romeo and Juliet which was super well done despite it being unconventional.

 

My favorite day in London was spent at the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio which is located right outside of London.  Being a crazy Harry Potter fan, I felt overwhelmed being on all the sets of my favorite movies.  The tour is quite intensive, carrying you through multiple sets, both inside and out, and takes about 3 hours to complete.  One big highlight is the butter beer that is available for purchase midway through the tour.  They also have butter beer ice cream that I highly recommend as a way to cool off on a steamy summer day.

Suggestion:  If you go visit Warner Bros studio, take the train from Euston station to Watford, a suburb about 20 miles outside of London.  It’s fairly cheap and fast compared to a taxi.  Once you arrive in Watford, shuttles will take you directly to the exhibit.  For more details visit https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/getting-here.

 

 

Alright, next time, which hopefully will be a little bit sooner now that I’m starting to get the hang of this college thing, I’ll write about my shopping experiences and London fashion.  Stay tuned!